Calif., N.J. Trying to Institute New Sales Taxes on Guns

Victor Valley Shooters owner Jay Stedt at his store in Victorville, Calif., in December. (AP)

Customers buying guns in states like California and New Jersey may soon be forced to pay sales taxes on firearms or ammunition they purchase, as part of state and local gun control efforts, Politico reports:

Gun owners in and around Chicago last week started paying a new $25 tax on every firearm they purchase. In California, a statehouse panel on April 15 will hear testimony on a nickel-per-bullet tax measure, and in New Jersey, lawmakers want to slap an additional 5 percent sales tax on guns and ammo.

The effort to impose new taxes on guns and bullets faces serious opposition from pro-gun groups, but it shows how far some states and localities are willing to go in this new frontier on gun control — especially as Washington struggles to find consensus even on the most scaled-back gun proposals being debated in Congress. [...]

Gun Owners of America legislative counsel Michael Hammond called gun taxes "an effort to say the poor can’t own firearms because we’re going to impose a tax which they can’t afford to pay."

He predicts such levies wouldn’t actually bring in much revenue since it would curb gun ownership and purchases.

Similar measures in Maryland and Connecticut have failed, despite those states passing restrictive gun control packages in the wake of the Newtown shooting.